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Effect of antipsychotic pharmacotherapy on clinical outcomes of intermittent theta-burst stimulation for refractory depression

Effect of antipsychotic pharmacotherapy on clinical outcomes of intermittent theta-burst stimulation for refractory depression

Authors: 
Laura Schulze, Gary Remington, Peter Giacobbe, Sidney H Kennedy, Daniel M Blumberger, Zafiris J Daskalakis, Jonathan Downar
Year: 
2016
Journal: 
Journal of Psychopharmacology
Abstract: 

Theta-burst stimulation is an emerging protocol for repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation that takes 1–3 min to administer, yet offers equal/superior potency to conventional protocols lasting 30–60 min. However, preclinical evidence suggests that D2 receptor blockade may abolish the acute effects of theta-burst stimulation on synaptic facilitation or inhibition. As many patients presenting for repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation are taking antipsychotic medications as augmentation for treatment-resistant depression, this finding is potentially concerning for the implementation of theta-burst stimulation in clinical settings. Here, we examined whether treatment-resistant depression patients taking antipsychotics have worse outcomes after a course of intermittent theta-burst stimulation. A chart review identified 105 treatment-resistant depression patients who underwent dorsomedial prefrontal-intermittent theta-burst stimulation; clinical outcomes on Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and Beck Depression Inventory were compared for those taking and not taking antipsychotics. The 29 of 105 patients who were taking antipsychotics showed non-significantly better response and remission rates, and non-significantly larger percentage improvements on both scales, with a positive but non-significant correlation between higher antipsychotic dose and larger percentage improvement. Contrary to expectations, outcomes were not significantly worse, and in some analyses trended towards being better, in patients taking antipsychotics. Future randomized controlled studies of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with standardized dopaminergic manipulations may be justified and warranted.

Read more: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0269881116675516

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